My daughter came to get me for a special dinner treat. It was my birthday, one I am always surprised to be having. The reason I say ‘surprised’ to be having a birthday is that 31 years ago I had a heart attack. I have done very well since, in spite of everything.
Many years have passed since that occurrence. At the time, I was working at Davidson’s Daytona Beach News-Journal. I had been there long enough that I could easily retire—and so I did.
Memories of those days return often now, after that state-of-the-art building was recently closed down.
Those were the days when Mr. Davidson arranged for the London Symphony Orchestra to come every other year to play at Peabody Auditorium. While they were here, our singing group—would dress in their regular costumes and usher at the performances.
Those were the early years of our residence in Ormond Beach. The four Maiden children were raised here and bussed to school downtown at first because it was a time before many young people made their homes in the area. However the population had begun to grow with General Electric families like ours, coming to town and the school system began to grow.
Members of my family, who reside in the area, came to share my aging birthday. Two of my daughters, their husbands, my son and his wife, a grandson, a great grandson, and my brother filled a large area in a fine local restaurant. Everything was so well done and the birthday cake was my all-time favorite (pineapple upside down cake). My daughter was allowed to make and bring the cake and what a treat.
After dinner, I began to open gifts when a surprising thing happened. Two couples who had dined across from us, were leaving. They stopped to wish me a happy birthday and shook my hand. As they left, I discovered that the gentleman had put something in my hand. By the time I realized it was a gift, they were gone. I wish I knew who they were. What a wonderful thing to do!
A hearty thank you, you’re so kind and I don’t know your face! I’ll never forget you gifted me—a stranger.
Kitty Maiden is a staff writer for Seniors Today.